Address to the American Indians
March 4, 1913 (Audio)

There are some dark figures in the history of the white man's dealing with the Indians, and many parts of the record are stained with the greed and avarice of those who have thought only of their own profit. But it is also true that the purposes and motives of this great government and of our nation as a whole towards the red men have been wise, just, and beneficent. The remarkable progress of our Indian brothers towards civilization is proof of it and open for all to see.

During the past half-century you have seen the schoolhouse take the place of the military post on your reservations; the administration of Indian affairs has been transferred from the military to the civil arm of the government. The education and industrial training the government has given you has enabled thousands of Indian men and women to take their places in civilization alongside their white neighbors. Thousands are living in substantial farmhouses on their own separate allotments of land. Hundreds of other have won places of prominence in the Professions, and some have worked their way into the halls of congress and into places of responsibility in our state and national governments. Thirty-thousand Indian children are enrolled in government, state, and mission schools. The great white father now calls you his brothers, not his children. Because you have shown in your education and in your settled ways of life staunch, manly, worthy qualities of sound character, the nation is about to give you distinguished recognition through the erection of a monument in honor of the Indian people, in the harbor of New York.